Jennifer Connelly on beauty, fitness and marriage

The Shiseido spokesperson, actor and mother of three reveals what life's like away from the cameras

Jennifer Connelly

MJ Kim/Getty Images Entertainment

Age: 41
Oscar moment: A Beautiful Mind in 2002.
Signature style: Balenciaga.
On/off-screen love: Husband Paul Bettany, with whom she has starred in two films.
Big break: At age 11 she appeared in Once Upon a Time in America with Robert De Niro.

Keeping it simple: “I don’t really have any surprising beauty secrets. Just take care of your skin from an early age, be careful about sun exposure and don’t mess around with your hair too much. I feel like I look my best when I’m calm and happy and have a strong sense of well-being. And my husband is very complimentary — he makes me feel beautiful.”

Famous feature: “I have an aunt I’m very close to, and she would always say, ‘Don’t pluck your brows!’ So I didn’t tweeze my eyebrows at all for many years. Every time I went to work, people would ask, “Can’t we just pluck these a little?” I finally conceded — and I liked it. I think some shaping is nice, but I’m still very judicious about it.”

Finding time for fitness: “I’ve had to become more flexible because I have three kids and I work. I practise yoga, and I’ve been a runner since I was a teenager. I still run when I can, not always every day, but whenever I have time. All I need is a pair of sneakers, and I can go. When my baby is napping, I grab a half-hour or else put her in the stroller and take her with me. I always feel so much happier after I’ve done it!”

Quality of life: “One of the best things about what I do is that it changes all the time. With acting, we always travel, we have intense relationships with people for three months — maybe living in Argentina in the countryside, or sub-Saharan Africa. Because of that I’ve had many different chapters in my life. There are also the journeys that you go on in a marriage. My husband and I have been married for almost 10 years, so that’s kind of amazing. And then there are the journeys with each of my three kids — the pregnancies, the births. Life is fun, right?”

Work ethic: “I look for material that resonates with me and is challenging. I usually start with research, then begin making choices about who the character is, what she likes, what she’s scared of, what she dreams about. I just try and be as limber as possible because too much planning in the end doesn’t work. But I don’t try to live as that character. I can’t — I’m a parent and that would be exhausting!”

Her favourite role: “My husband and I like to spend time with friends doing simple things like playing music, cooking dinners and hanging out with the people we love. So far, knock on wood, I have a great relationship with my children. I just feel so privileged to be able to spend time with them, and it brings me a lot of joy.”

Jennifer Connelly is the first global spokesperson for Shiseido and the face of Shiseido Future Solution LX.